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The first diamonds were probably discovered in India, in around 800 B.C. The volcanic source of these diamonds was never discovered, but the alluvial deposits were rich enough to supply most of the world\'s diamonds until the 18th century, when dwindling Indian supplies probably spurred the exploration that led to the discovery of diamonds in Brazil, which became the next important diamond source. Beginning in l866, South Africa\'s massive diamond deposits were discovered, and a worldwide diamond rush was on. The South African diamond output was unrivaled until major deposits were found in Siberian permafrost in l954. And currently Western Canada is the site of the world\'s newest diamond rush.
Diamonds are recovered from the diamond bearing kimberlites, the lamproite or the gravels produced by the erosion of these rocks. The host rocks are crushed, then the diamonds are separated form the lighter minerals by gravimetric methods such as rotating pans. This produces a heavy mineral concentrate. One of two things is done with the concentrate. The concentrate is blended with water and passed over a grease table to catch the diamonds. The diamonds will adhere to the grease whereas most of the remaining minerals do not. The concentrate is passed in a dry state through an x-ray sorting machine, which identifies the diamonds, by the x-ray induced fluorescence.
Around the world, diamond retail prices vary greatly, but a rough estimate of the cost of a diamond is as follows (prices are shown in U.S. Dollars):
· 1/2 carat: $1,000-$3,000
· 3/4 carat: $2,500-$5,000
· 1 carat: $3,500-$10,000 and up
Due to the diamonds relative rarity, a result of the controls on the diamond industry, this sought after stone has remained expensive. It is difficult to find large discounts or bargain sale prices on a diamond.
Diamonds are used in several different applications, whether it is an industrial application or as a gemstone. Since diamonds are the hardest minerals found on the face of the earth they are very useful in many cutting applications. Also, people love their fire when a diamond is used as a gemstone.
Did You Know?
o An emerald cut diamond is the cheapest cut.
o Bigger Diamonds are not necessarily better than smaller diamonds, which may be of far better quality.
o Diamond is a mineral composed of pure carbon.
o Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring known substance on earth.
o Diamonds are 75% lighter than a cubic zirconia, and can easily be told apart.
o Diamonds are a good investment. Only if you know very well what you are doing, and have very good insurance.
o Diamonds are ground to shape, not chipped.
o Diamonds are in fact quite common.
o Diamonds are not the most expensive gemstones.
o Diamonds are not the toughest substance and can therefore break, chip and fracture.
o Most Expensive Diamond: $16,548,750 brought in 1997, and was 100 carats.
o Perfect diamonds do exist.
o The Centenary Diamond - 273.85 Carats - Weighing almost 600 Carats in the rough, a master-cutter took 3 years to transform the stone into the largest modern-cut flawless diamond. Also a part of the British Crown Jewels, it was first presented at the Tower of London in 1991.
The Great Star of Africa - 530.20 Carats - The largest polished diamond in the world, this gem, which is among the British Crown Jewels, has 74 facets.
Diagrams and Pictures
Beautiful and simple open heart pendant, 18k Diamond Necklace.
The rarest diamonds in the world are pink diamonds.
Exquisite diamond heart earrings featuring 18 round cut diamonds.
Colors: Colorless, yellow, blue, pink, white, green and many others
Density: 3.51 g/cm3
Cleavage: Excellent parallel to octahedron face
Shapes: Round Brilliant, Oval, Princess, Emerald, Radiant, Heart, Marquise and Pear
Silicate or Non-Silicate: Non-Silicate
Major Group: Metamorphic
“Diamond Cutters.” Diamond History. 2004. 6 May 2004
“Diamond.” The Mineral Diamond. 1996. 6 May 2004
“Mining Industrial Minerals.” Diamonds. 2004. 6 May 2004 <http://interactive.usask.ca/ski/mining/search/mineral_types/industrial/diamond.html>
“2 Become 1 Weddings.” Diamonds. 2003. 6 May 2004
“Forever lasting frost.”
Chemical Formula C Pure Carbon
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Diamond, Gemstone, Kimberlite, Carbon, Argyle diamond mine, Diamond simulant
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